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300 Beds Built! Local Nonprofit Helping Kids “Sleep In Heavenly Peace”

  • St Mary's County,Calvert County
  • By

LEXINGTON PARK, Md. — Back at the start of 2020, nobody could have anticipated the year we would have. Many faced massive personal and professional setbacks. But one nonprofit managed to thrive.

Gary and Deborah Faller helped start a chapter of “Sleep in Heavenly Peace”(SHP) in Southern Maryland in January of 2020, an organization that builds beds for children ages 3-17 across St. Mary’s and southern Calvert County.

“We saw SHP founder Luke Mickelson on Good Morning America in 2019 and [soon after] opened our shop at 21797 North Coral Drive in Lexington Park,” the Fallers said in a message. They would officially open the sixth chapter in Maryland, one of over 250 chapters in the United States, Canada, and Bermuda.

And now on July 19, the organization passed a major milestone: they constructed their 300th bed. Accompanied by Jacqueline Acevedo-Pedragón, a Spanish interpreter and Head Start Family Service Provider at Greenview Knolls Elementary School, and SMCPS Chief Strategic Officer Jeffrey Maher, the team was able to assemble the bed frame in roughly 15 minutes.

The recipients, 3-year-old Marin Daniella Barrera Lopez and her mother Ruth Lopez, were extremely excited to have been selected to receive a twin bed frame with a new mattress, pillow, sheets, and a blanket/comforter.

However, the nonprofit’s success rate is relatively high at 78%, and after partnering with SMCPS earlier this year, they have been able to identify even more families with a potential need. Of the 397 beds requested, 338 have been built, and 304 have been placed already.

“Sleep is important to learning — that’s why it is natural to partner with the school system,” the Fallers said. “They post our flyers on each school’s website. 30% of our clients find us this way; another 30% through family or friends; 21% through social service; the rest — local news, Facebook, even the sign on our truck.”

None of this would have been possible without the nearly 400 volunteers who have volunteered over 2,200 hours of their time and the various donors to the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For more information on how to make donations or help out, contact them at 301-481-5158 or email them at deborah.faller@shpbeds.org

You can also visit their website for more details on how to get involved at https://www.shpbeds.org/chapter/md-st-marys-co

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